Personal Injury Attorney | Bakersfield, we are officially in a heatwave! While we are used to July being the hottest month of the year, the last week has combined hot temperatures with higher than average humidity resulting in some very uncomfortable outdoor conditions. What’s worse is that the current heatwave will likely be followed by an even hotter heatwave. During these extreme weather conditions, it’s important to take proper precautions to beat the heat.
Heatstroke and heat-related injuries can be extremely dangerous. With effects ranging from lethargy to brain damage, heat illnesses left unchecked can escalate quickly. In 2017, 87 people died from exposure to excessive heat.
Anyone can be vulnerable to heat illness. However, infants and children up to four years are at the greatest risk. Other risk groups include:
- People aged 65 and older
- Individuals who participate in strenuous outdoor sports or activities
- Those who work in extreme weather conditions
- People with chronic health conditions or who are taking certain medications
- Individuals in poor health
No one can stay inside all summer. And who would want to? But there are ways to prevent heat-related illnesses and injuries and still have fun outdoors this season.
Kern County Public Health has issued the following tips to help you stay cool during these hot, summer days:
- Never leave infants, children, elderly or pets in a parked car. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to rise to levels that can kill.
- Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid outdoor physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day. Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck and loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun.
- Regularly check on any elderly relatives or friends who live alone. Many may be on medications which increase the likelihood of dehydration.
- To prevent overheating, use cold compresses, misting, showers and baths. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a rapid, strong pulse, you feel delirious or have a body temperature above 102 degrees.
- Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts.
- Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen may reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- The County of Kern will open Cooling Centers when temperatures are forecasted by the NWS to exceed certain highs. For more information on Cooling Centers hours and locations, click here.
By keeping these guidelines in mind when you spend time outside in this extreme heat, you will dramatically reduce your risk of heat-related illness or injury.
If you or someone you love has suffered a heat-related injury due to negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.